The NIJ Standards for Personal Body Armor (Ballistic and Stab/Puncture Resistant) establish minimum performance requirements to evaluate specific designs, or 'models' of armor. The standard is not intended to be a design specification, which would require manufacturers to use a specific type of material and/or design pattern to achieve a required level of protection. Instead, by measuring only the performance capabilities of the model, this allows armor manufacturers the ability to innovate by using any type or combination of types of materials, as well as design methods, to achieve the required level of protection.
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